Printer Friendly

Activity: Climate Comparison

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

Materials

  • Globe, world map, or mapping software
  • Graph paper or computer graphing program
  • Calculator
  • Table 3.4
  • Table 3.5

Procedure

A. Comparing climate across latitude.

  1. Examine a globe or world map. Make a prediction about the relationship between latitude and air temperature for locations on land.
     
  2. Familiarize yourself with the location of the cities listed in Table 3.4.
     
  3. Make an x-y scatterplot using Table 3.4, showing the average temperature in January and July plotted against latitude. If possible include the cities as data labels on your graph.
     
  4. (Optional) Calculate the average temperature range or difference between January and July for each city. Add this information to Table 3.4 and plot this data against latitude.
     
  5. Analyze any patterns that you notice in your graph and hypothesize a reason for these patterns.
     
  6. Re-examine your world map. Determine if there are any geographic features, such as bodies of water, mountains, or deserts that might help to explain discrepancies between the relationship of latitude and temperature.

B. Comparing climate between environments.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the location of the cities listed in Table 3.5 using a world map or globe. These cities are located at very similar latitudes and on the same continents as the cities in Part A, but their environments are very different.
     
  2. Use a world map or globe to determine if these cities are located along a coast or inland. Add this information to Table 3.5.
     
  3. Calculate the difference between average day and night temperatures in January in each city. Add this information to Table 3.5.
     
  4. Make a prediction about the relationship between environmental location (inland or coastal) and the difference between day and night temperature.
     
  5. Make an x-y scatterplot using Table 3.5, showing the 24-hour temperature range in January against location. If possible include the cities as data labels on your graph.
     
  6. Analyze any patterns that you notice in your graph and hypothesize a reason for these patterns.
Activity Questions: 
  1. Did your prediction about the relationship between temperature and latitude match your observations? Explain the reasoning for your answer.
     
  2. Were you able to explain any discrepancies from your prediction based on geographic features? What effect did latitude play in these discrepancies?
     
  3. Did you notice any other relevant patterns in your data for Table 3.4? If there were patterns, what do you suppose is the cause?
     
  4. Did cities at similar latitudes have similar temperatures? If there were differences, suggest a reason for the differences.
     
  5. What role do you think temperature plays in the climate of a region?
     
  6. What other information would be necessary to describe the climate of the cities in Table 3.4 and 3.5?

Table of Contents:

Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.